Blue-Tongued Skinks come from Australia where their primary defense mechanism is to look as scary as a snake! They have diamond-shaped heads and bright blue tongues that they use to smell the air just like a snake. They move in a slithering motion (with some help from their tiny legs) and have long skinny bodies.
With so many snake-like features, how do we know they aren’t snakes? The answer is that they have tiny legs and they have eyelids! Did you know snakes don’t have eyelids?! Snakes can never close their eyes or blink. The Blue-Tongue Skink’s snake-like appearance effectively keeps predators away, but their friends know them as gentle, calm and docile reptiles.
Two defining characteristics of reptiles are: 1) scales cover their bodies, and 2) they lay eggs. Blue-Tongued Skinks are the rare exceptions to this second rule and give birth to live babies. They are Ovoviviparous, which means their eggs hatch inside of the mother, and the babies are born ready to conquer the world. Some species of snakes, sharks, insects, and rays share this rare ability with the Blue Tongued Skink.
The Blue Tongued Skink is one of only 5 animals that have blue tongues! Chow-Chow dogs, Impalas, Giraffes, and Okapis share this rare trait. When a Blue-Tongued Skink is scared, they will open their bright red mouth up wide and display the contrasting blue tongue against it while making a hissing noise. This bright red-blue combination is startling and causes predators to flee in fear.